BBC launches 'Aftershock' series on Recession

On September 15, 2008, New York-based Lehman Brothers, one of the world’s oldest and most respected investment banks, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It was the largest bankruptcy filed in US corporate history. One year on from this pivotal event, the BBC’s global news services – BBC World Service, BBC World News and – are launching Aftershock, a season investigating the impact of the global recession on all facets of life since that seismic day.

BBC World News, the BBC’s international 24/7 news and information channel, launches the Aftershock season on 7 September across its news programmes.

Premiering on BBC World News, is How a Busted Bank Changed the World, the BBC’s Business Editor Robert Peston will examine what happened and what we’ve learned since the day the money stopped. In this new documentary, he meets many of the people who witnessed the demise of Lehman’s, from bank bosses, to Wall Street Lawyers and Government Regulators and ask them a year on, if anything has changed. How a Busted Bank Changed the World will transmit on BBC World News on 12 September (and BBC World Service’s Business Daily on 15 September).

Marking the start of the week which saw the real crisis in the financial markets, BBC World News begins its extensive news coverage with reports across the globe including Shanghai, Mumbai, New York and Japan. Special reports on how the credit crunch has affected the housing market and small businesses will also be aired from the U.S. in conjunction with Labor Day.

BBC World News’ World Business Report, from 2300 IST on 10 September, will bring viewers live news from Dalian in China on the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of New Champions.

On the weekend of 12 and 13 September, India Business Report, BBC World News’ special programme devoted to business news from Mumbai, provides in-depth analysis on the big Indian conglomerates that took advantage of the credit crunch by buying Western companies.

In an ambitious and truly global production, BBC World News will broadcast a series of live reports from the channel’s expert presenters across the world on 15 September from 1930 IST. Mishal Husain (Singapore), Nik Gowing (Mumbai), Matt Frei (New York) and Jonathan Charles, Lucy Hockings, George Alagiah and Tanya Beckett in (London) will report on: Where is the banking system now and where is it going? What happened to the big Wall Street players? How much did the banks eventually write off and who were the winners and losers? The shifting of power to China and Asia? Could this happen again? And how much did banks eventually write off?

BBC World News broadcasts Working Lives: Dubai, a co-production with BBC Persian TV, on 12 September. The programme follows the experiences of five people including a taxi driver and a billionaire, who have to deal with life’s current economic realities in a land of economic promise.

Our World: Hollywood or Bust airs on 16 September and provides an analysis on how Hollywood’s movie industry can survive the recession. The programme also broadcasts a candid interview with Sumner Redstone, the head of one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, VIACOM.

BBC World News America marks the one-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse and ensuing global economic meltdown with two special programs anchored live from New York by Matt Frei: Monday 14 September (from the BBC’s New York bureau) and Tuesday 15 September (from Wall Street). In addition, special features leading up to the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh include an in-depth report from Washington Correspondent Katty Kay addressing a crucial question: is the U.S. government’s massive economic stimulus program actually working? The recovery in China also comes under the spotlight in a report that asks if the Chinese might be replacing America as the world’s dominant economic player. And BBC World News America meets three people who personify the links in the financial chain that led to last year’s economic collapse – the American homebuyer, the Wall Street financier who repackaged their subprime mortgage, and the Chinese investor who bought it.

The Aftershock season launches on 5 September, with the premiere of The Day that Lehman Died, a new 60-minute radio drama, which marks the anniversary of the collapse of this iconic bank. A fictionalised account of events over the weekend prior to the bank’s demise; where bankers argued and negotiated, all too aware that Lehman was not the only one of its kind in trouble. This drama looks at how the critical decision to let Lehman die was made. Written by Matthew Solon, an award-winning writer whose work has featured on BBC World Service and Radio 4, the play is directed by John Dryden, whose previous credits include the 10 part serialisation of Vikas Swarup’s “Q & A” (Slumdog Millionaire) for BBC Radio 4, which won the 2008 Sony Award for Best Drama. The drama was recorded on location in and around Wall Street, including at the New York Stock Exchange, with cast members including John Shea and John Rothman and was made with the assistance of WNYC Public Radio in New York

Special editions of Business Daily from 7 September feature BBC Business Correspondent Steve Evans in Las Vegas, examining the state of the US housing market, one year on from the collapse of mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. On 9 September four former Lehman employees talk about their careers pre and post the collapse while on 11 September, Lesley Curwen in Dalian, China, reports from the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of New Champions.

In Assignment, 10 September, Ed Butler examines the growing demand for reform of the world’s leading business schools.

During September, BBC World Service will reveal the results of a migration study, commissioned from the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, which examines the impact of the financial downturn on the movement of people around the world. Focusing on the performance of government and business leaders, BBC World Service’s Aftershock Poll will find out how people have rated the performance of those in the power and the measures that have been introduced to address the crisis.

The financial crisis affected different parts of the world in different ways. BBC World Service will focus on the regional impact of the financial crisis. Highlights include special reports and in-depth analysis by the Central Asia and Caucaus services – BBC Azeri, BBC Kyrgyz and BBC Uzbek which will assess the political fallout of the downturn and whether it has enhanced the authority of the leaders in countries such as Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

BBC Russian examines why Russia’s initial reaction to crisis was a denial and focuses on the experiences of ordinary people during the past year, including Russian-speaking City workers in London and businessmen in Omsk.

BBC Hausa explores the impact of the significant reduction in Nigeria’s earnings which has forced the federal government to slash its allocations to the states and local governments.

Programming on radio will include how the financial crisis began and examines issues on how the recession year shifted the global power away from traditional western nations to Asian countries and how Indian banks survived the recession. The BBC World Service Hindi Radio will analyze if the world GDP was exaggerated from the very beginning? The team will revisit two people’s life who lost their jobs and how 700 million rural population’s economic activities helped India’s economy to float? A special edition of regular programme Parikrama will include if the state of global economy has started to recover

Hindi online will seek to answer questions like – how India survived and will the economy continue to boom? A special analysis with case studies saying India’s unsung rural economy had a major role in it.

BBC Swahili examines the impact of the financial downturn on both Kenya’s flower trade to Europe, the tourism trade to Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda and its effect on mining in Tanzania. There will also be a focus on the tightening of diaspora’s remittances to Uganda.

BBC Arabic focuses on the impact of the recession on the Arab world and especially the Gulf States, across radio, online and TV. Audiences across the Arab world will be invited to share their stories on a special Have Your Say on These stories will form part of the multimedia program Noqtat Hewar, live on TV and Radio. A special index for “After Shock” will be published on with stories and in-depth analysis and an interactive timeline. A special edition of the Open Agenda programme on BBC Arabic will discuss the impact of the recession on the Arab world and especially the Gulf States.

BBC World Service’s daily news interactive discussion show, hosted by Ros Atkins, World Have your Say on Friday 11 September will find out first-hand from people around the world how the global recession has impacted on their lives. People can join this global conversation via telephone, online, via mobile and Twitter – BBC_WHYS to share their experiences with others and follow the debate on BBC World Service and BBC World News.

From New York, the BBC will host the Aftershock Debate, with panellists Lawrence McDonald, a former Vice-President at Lehman Brothers; Nouriel Roubini, New York University professor, Chairman of RGE Monitor, and famed as one of the few economists who anticipated the housing meltdown and subsequent recession in the US; and Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Laureate, former Chief Economist at the World Bank and leader of the UN’s Commission of Experts on Reforming the Global Economy. The debate will be chaired by Matt Frei with Stephanie Flanders and premieres on 15 September on BBC World Service, at 1700-1800 GMT and BBC World News America, and 19 September on BBC World News.

During September, the Aftershock website will feature interactive graphics, charting the impact of the financial crisis around the world including graphics tracking the spend of governments’ money on bank bailouts. The website will offer audiences the opportunity to share their own personal experiences of the past year via a global interactive mood map.

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